Dining Room Lecture

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in tangier of said so many times i want to be like that but that is not his teaching the stitching is to be completely like this
for you to could be completely like this for you to be completely like this and for me to be completely like fist
what is this
what is that is here that needs is full expression from me
this this is is my study i want to reach you on year and a little
one of hero she's talks from just book not always so this is so i'm i'm probably many of you are familiar with zen mind beginner's mind which was
a book of suzuki roshi his early talks
ha i'm at how many of your nose and my beginner's mind
that book on
is a series of lectures that he gave
to some people practicing in los altos
in someone's living room
often there are two or three people present
at the talks said he gave
but one of them the first new house it was recorded the talks and then she transcribed them
and then one of brushes close students treaty dixon edited them for publication
and those talks which were given often to just two or three people
are still inspiring people
monday was published about sixty seven a somewhere in there
of for forty years you know it it keeps being it's it's million print constantly since then and has been published in fourteen or fifteen languages
but there were just zoo hiroshi talking to people who wanted to practice and his encouraging words
helping them practice he went down to los altos once a week
and talk to him he came to berkeley once a week and talk with us he went to mill valley once a week can talk to people who don't kong's group and twice a week he talked to people that was it didn't go to temple so he gave five dharma culturally
week after week
and i remember
his his widow with sushi oak son
the sushi me too
oh so
seeing that that he's to work so hard on his talks and was there working and she said to him once
what do you work so hard on those talks nobody ever comes
hand and he said but doesn't matter if it's one person or one hundred people i have to do my best
he was very very dedicated to bringing dogs and she's teaching to us
he studied law and he continued to study after he left after university and after he left a he continued to study with his teacher fishes l m
until kisses ali upstairs and then we came here soon after that
and teaches our ear was was one of the great
dogan century scholars ah of the twentieth century
so if you don't know logan said you don't send you was a thirteenth century monk and japan who wanted to get the true dharma so he sailed to china
ah to find the to dharma
when he met a teacher there and he you know he had this burning question that if we're photo from the beginning if all beings are buddha
why do we need to practice
and that was the question that kind of drove his search
finally he came to the conclusion after meeting his teacher in to china can do your job
he came as a conclusion that practice and enlightenment
or not to
the practice is the practice of enlightenment that's all it's just put an week person does his practice
the beginning
we're already buddha were practicing to find how to express buddha in our life how to express put in this moment
not some just day in our life but in this moment how do we express our awakening
how do we express our intimate it are being with all beings
in this moment
and what hinders us
so in this talk the these talks and in the in this book not always so er toch said suzuki roshi gave later on after said center had become larger after we had tassajara sahara actually
the probably as matter of fact that we also had the city center so the last couple of years of his life
these talks
mrs for new live completely in each moment without expecting anything
you have no idea of time
for you are involved in an idea of time today tomorrow or next year
selfish practice begins
various desires start to behave this mischievously
you may think you could get you should get ordained are you worry about what your next step will be trying to become someone else you lose your practice and lose your virtue
when you are faithful to your position or your work your true being is there
this is a very important point
without any idea of time your practice goes on and on moment after moment you will come you yourself this practice is not so easy
you may not be able to continue it even for one period of meditation
you will need to make a big effort
then you can practice extending this feeling moment after moment
eventually it will extend to your everyday life
no there's that big effort again you know i mentioned the other day
ah he's talking about teacher and disciple making big efforts to find out how to be teacher and disciple
and i mentioned that something that really caught my ear when i heard him talk once was his saying zen is making your best effort on each moment forever
ha ha
when i also mentioned my big con my main call on for about twenty years
because he also said
practice with no gaining idea practice with no goal seeking mind
practice is making your best effort on each moment forever
with no gaining idea who
what kind of effort do you make with no gaining idea
what is that
so i offer that you that was my go on for twenty years i offer it to you
mom made of it what you will
when i just see here's here's this you must make a big effort again that pops up in talk after talk
then you can practice extending this feeling moment after moment
eventually it will extend to your everyday life
the way to extend your practice is to expose yourself as you are without trying to be someone else
from events very interesting point
how often do we see someone whom we much admire
and so will you try to imitate them and try to be like them
and at what does that say about about what this tool is
who's gonna throw away the stool and try to make a cheap imitation of that jewel that's actually not our job our job is to find out how to be
completely this tool
but i know that i get caught in that as someone who know someone who is very of dynamic speaker and gives wonderful dharma talks and i compare myself to move and maybe i studied harder than i do enter convey have such as wonders
the way with words and know and i forget about well what do i know what can i share
of the dharma that i know from my own experience
how can i share this being that i am
rather than trying to make a cheap imitation of someone else who looks kind of bright and shiny to me
have you ever do that
i think it's not so unusual
so how can you be just this one as it is how can you present this one as it is on each moment

when you are very honest with yourself and brave enough you can express yourself fully
whatever people may think it's all right just be yourself at least with your teacher
that is actual practice your actual life
unless you trust your teacher this is rather difficult
but if you find out that your teachers spirit as the same as your spirit then you will be brave enough to continue practicing in this way
you know as we trained ah in this tradition we are put into more and more positions of responsibility and we we sort of change change positions all the time and i know someone will be like head of design
and over here for a year and then that someone else's turned to put themselves in that position and it's returned to put herself in a different position
so we had very exposed to people they they you know we can't hide there's no place to hide
or ah one of the things about being ordained as a as a monk is just the very symbolic thing of shaving the hair and putting on monks close is exposing yourself no place to hide
i just right out here
calm and then if you're a monk for a while then you get asked to sit in the first seat and be she's so
and then you really get exposed
because you have to you have to be was each student in the practice period spending time with some you have to ring the weight up below and clean the toilets and you have to sit up there in front of everybody and his dharma talks
and everybody is watching your practice and then at the end of the practice period you have to sit up there respond to a question from everybody in the practice period right now question as don't stop and think about it he really get exposed
it's part of your training is part of you can't really
be willing to have others see you as you are
unless you are willing to be as you are
so a lot of this practice is coming to fully embrace this one as it is to be willing to be this one which has been created by
all of the karma of our lives and who knows i mean genetics as karma too so we've been created but instead of like who we are at this moment he looked down at tassajara creek right now and look at the creek
that creek at this moment is is a product of everything that's happened upstream from it
and we're just like that how we are at this moment is a product of everything that has happened before now in this life and perhaps in your parents' lives as well forms who you are
and if there are past lives those two i mean i'm after madame i was a great deal of talk about past and future lives in buddhism smarter fact my friend robert thurman
then tradition says
but you can't be a buddhist if you don't bleed past future lies
i have to admit that i'm agnostic about that
you know there's a story that i relate to very much of a monk who else's and master what happens when you die and as and mrs i don't know
what are you mean you don't arduous zen master well yes but i'm not a dead one yet
so i guess i'll find out about past and future lives eventually we'll see this thing we call death as a great mystery we don't know what it is
but ah and some of us are often afraid of it
you know there's this verse on the hon that i pointed out to you what i give processing instruction yesterday
great is the matter of birth and death all is impermanent quickly passing
be awake each moment don't waste this life
can i i wasn't a of
korean practice center
a few years ago and alert group of of american send teachers were meeting there and we just join in the practice of whatever temple were meeting at
so their practice is to get up in the morning and made one hundred and eight full bows
ah they started out and they profess to so
i start out they do twenty five and then the leader shouts out great is the matter of birth and death and then they do twenty five more bells and and the leader shouts up
impermanence as are you
after twenty five bells be a way to each moment until the twenty five mouse doorways his life they do eight more bows and you sit down
and you're really awake
and you really know why you're sitting
it's it's cypriots that way to start the day i don't know you think we should do it down here
it's pretty familiar you miss nobody sleeps in the xander there
given that all is impermanent
ah and quickly passing how do we want to live this life this is this is our practice
and once as a hero she's saying here is we want to live this life being fully who we are expressing this one
as completely as we can now that doesn't mean of course going random acting out here
he puts it a little more a little more gently than that let's see my

whatever people may think it's all right just be yourself at least for your teacher this is actual practice your actual life
unless you trust your teacher this is rather difficult but if you find out that your teachers spirit as the same as yours spirit then you will be brave enough to continue practicing in this way
sometimes you have to argue with your teacher that's okay but you should try to understand him and be ready to give up your argument when you are wrong when you find yourself foolishly sticking to one point of view or when you are making some excuse
that is how to be honest with yourself
then you will give up okay i surrender i'm sorry
you and your teacher or aiming to have perfect communication
for a teacher the important point is always to be ready to surrender to his disciple
when a teacher realizes that he is wrong he should say oh you're right i was wrong
if your teacher has that kind of spirit you will be encouraged to admit your mistake as well even when it's not so easy for most of us is pretty hard to admit a mistake
there are there are two kinds of people actually there's some people from it's a really hard to admit i'm mistaken there some people
who are never know who feel like they're always making a mistake and they never accept themselves as they are
ha they're always thinking they're wrong they're to something
so they're they're both kinds are those for whom is very hard to admit a mistake and their those who is very hard to admit they didn't eating right
if you continue this kind of practice people may say you're crazy something is wrong with you but it doesn't matter
we're not the same each one of us is different and each one of us as our own problems
fortunately you have the support of others who are practicing with you
this is not an umbrella to provide shade to protect you but a space where you can have real practice
a space where you can express yourself fully
you can open your eyes to appreciate the practice of others and you will find the you are able to communicate without words
our way is not to criticize others but to know and appreciate them
sometimes you may feel you know someone to well and you have difficulty appreciating them because of your small mind
if you continue practicing together and your mind is big enough to expose yourself and to accept others
naturally you will become good friends
to know your friends to know something beyond yourself beyond even your friend
you may say that when you are practicing zazen no one can know your practice
but for me that is the best time to understand you
when you are facing the wall and i see you from behind it is especially easy to understand what kind of practice you have
sometimes i walk around the meditation hall so that i can see you
this is very interesting
if you're dancing or talking are making a big noise it's rather difficult to understand you
but when we were sitting together you eat sit in your own way
it's a big mistake to think that the best way to express yourself is to do whatever you want acting however you please
that is not expressing yourself
when you have many possible ways of expressing yourself you are not sure what to do so you will behave superficially
if you know what to do exactly
and you do it you can express yourself fully
that is why we follow forms
you may think that you cannot express yourself within a particular form
but when we are all practicing together
strong people will express themselves and a strong way
and kind people will express themselves and a kind way
when we pass the sutra cards along the road during service you each do it in your own way
the differences among you are easy to see because of the forum as the same
and because we repeat the same thing over and over again we can understand our friends ways eventually
even if your eyes are shut you know oh that was so and so
so i ask those who you have been practicing in saga for a while is that true for you
you get to know each other
just by the way you do the same things over and over together
and have a sense of what your friends are like
from just the repetitive things that we do together how we can show to each other on the pair
how we passed the supercars how we serve it or yoshi meals how we receive from auditorium few meals how we chant and the sendo how we were robes
when you get to know each other intimately
and everybody has to see you
there's no place to hide when i when i am
first started sitting at the berkeley sendo
tassajara was quite new
and it was the only residential practice place we had we didn't have results shed and we didn't have the city centre yet
and i said to mel who was a new priests at berkeley center at the time
i said
everybody's talking about tassajara tessa the heart what's the big deal about a
he said well at tassajara we live together
we sit together we work together we eat together is pretty soon everybody can see the you are
you might as well sees yourself
and you do get the feeling when you're practicing particularly during practice period here
that there's no place to hide everybody can see three might as well quit pretending because everybody knows you
and that's the great gift of practicing in this way he can quit trying to be somebody else you find out what it is to be this particular jewel in indra's net
and the more you can be this particular jewel the more you can reflect back to each other
their particular jewels to them
so that this vision of indra's net is is really vivid

so this is this advantage of having rules and rituals
without this kind of practice your relationship with people will be very superficial
if someone wears a beautiful robes here he rubs his robe and laughs you will say he must be a good priest to someone gives you a beautiful thing you will think he is very time that she is a wonderful person
that kind of understanding it's not so good
usually our society works in a superficial frivolous way
the controlling power as money or some big noise
her eyes and ears are not open or subtle enough to see and hear things
most people who visit sense that are find it a strange place
they don't talk so much they don't even laugh what are they doing
those who are accustomed to big noises may not notice
but we can communicate without talking so much
we may not always be smiling but we feel what others are feeling
our mind is always open and we are expressing ourselves fully
he'll say something about that smiling ah but i was practicing in japan it and so in
and we were being instructed of that
how to conduct ourselves i had taken a group of twelve women over there to practice because ah at the groceries home temple in japan there is a small training hall i was twelve twelve to attorneys amongst circle monks training hall in japan ah each monk has
as a to tommy
so so the times as we have appear or as deep as a tommy plus cabinet and the back where bedding is stored and robes and com
personal items i guess and offer
and that's your living space now your unwanted tommy the somebody else here and somebody else here so we were twelve of us on twelve to tommy's in the
monks training all
but we were not young monks
we were middle aged middle class women a customer running our own lives you know wrong most of the women they are professional women cause you know they had to have enough money to pay for fair to get over there are there was some psycho said there were
and there were some some presidents and students
ah there was a graphic artist they were any how they were very professional women mostly
and that kind of close contact ah
brings up a lot of stuff
and then kind of we're so used to having privacy i'm even here at tassajara you can go in your room and close the door maybe you have a roommate but make me know no
and the original schedule that we have worked out before we went over there was on
included a fifteen minute tiebreak and limited f during the middle of the afternoon work period
well we had not been there very long before that turned into a forty five minute processing break
on the advice of our psychotherapist members
but you know i mean that was a difficult time and it was a very bonding time with this group we call ourselves the song the sisters and we have a reunion every year
and now
ah most of the people that grew presented some way or another
one of them died one was teaching up in r keto diet
so it is there was kind of interesting it was but the thing i was talking about was as smiling part of there was an american monk there who had been living there for several years and he was translating for us
and he gave us our instructions when we went down into town like we went to the supermarket to pick up food every day
ah when we went down into town we were always to be smiling because we were known in the town as the nuns from rensselaer
and so we should be smuggling
ah and then take on harm came to visit us at gringotts when he first came here his first teaching in this area and in and san francisco area was done agreed on a farm he didn't have a or yep
and one of his teachings is to have us always have a slight smile on your face
and ah
i read in a book by someone who's spent time at plum village that day
he said if i come in to the kitchen and ask you what you're doing i'm much happier if you say breathing and smiling tie than if you say shot and carrots tie
so he wanted people to be aware of their breathing and smiling
as their mindfulness practice
and of course i've been doing she gone with sleeping for the past week and one of her constant instructions his smile on your face
i find that i am very conscious of that and zazen i keep coming back to it as a point of practice i didn't mention and zazzle instruction yesterday
it soften for one thing i tend ah to carry a lot of tension in my joy ahead
noted that overtime and if i smile it it relieves the tension in my jaw i don't clench my teeth anymore
and i'm not talking about big grin and yet do not trying to show anybody anything you trying to soften your own
state of mind it effects your mind if you have a slight smile if you soften this job it affects your actual state of mind
so since he mentioned smiling i thought i would throw lenin
we may not always be smiling but we feel what others are feeling her mind is always open and we're expressing ourselves fully well i hope so
he's making a statement here that may be true and when it is it's really good and when it isn't it's the direction we're headed
we can extend this practice to city life and be good friends with one another
this is not difficult when used decide to be honest with yourself and express yourself fully without expecting anything
just being yourself and being ready to understand others is how to extend your practice into everyday life
we don't know what will happen
if you fail to express yourself fully on each moment you may regret it later
because you expect some future time you miss your opportunity and you are misunderstood by your friend
do not wait to express yourself fully
now like to entertain questions comments discussion anyone would like to bring up something
gets worse than we can talk about today's rather than asking in western practices smoking is
recent i see
i still think rick that in in your everyday life whether of an astrakhan that this kind of help that you get
is a
is for monastic practice but the point of
finding out who you are and expressing it fully
is not limited to monastics
monastics have built in a lot of fun
a lot of
aids and goats
so those who are living a lay life have to looked at their own life and see where they are stifling their true expression
and how they can best express themselves and what whatever situation they're in
i i do realize that there are some constraints in on
i say you work in an office ah
there are some constraints about how fully you can honestly you can be yourself
ah but you know he's not talking about anything radical he's just pissed of because he says it's not about just doing whatever you want to do or acting out or something it's about discovering what is this mean indra's net is not just tools
we're monastic indra's net is all beings without exception
and for us to realize this is a jewel in the universe with something to offer
was something to give
and put is what is this tool and what does it have to give
and can we receive the reflections that come to us from all around us and see all of the other being around us as tools as well or do we get caught in our
idea of ourself or i am ideas of what we want from somebody else and fail to see the jewel there
i think this is what about i mean what he's mentioning of course since he's talking to students here he's talking about how how the various forms which a lot of people find know what the hell was that about you know what difference does it make what foot you step in the sender what differences
make how you pass out the sutra guards you know what difference does it make how you bow on the walk
you know don't tell me what to do
ah i remember cut a hero she's saying once very hard teach american send to who hadn't enough about her americans say don't tell me what to do
and soon as of that just shut your mouth and do it
very hard teach americans said
but just taking a little different point here than just shut your mouth and do it i mean he does sometimes say just do it now
but he's taking a little different point here is what he's saying ah
when you're mistaken you should admit it particularly if you can trust your teacher to admit his mistakes when he makes them or her mistakes which makes them
so you saying that all of us
none of us should take the position i know what the right way as a good my way
we have certain forms here and some of them are traditional japanese forms and them over the years various of the teachers here has modified forms and set up particular forms for tassajara mean even between her radio show the city centre we can't seem to stay precisely on the
same page but at each place we have we have are agreed upon forms and we use them as supports for a practice
you can also set up your own forms in your own personal situation your agreement and you and you can agree for gonna do it this way let's let's try doing it this way see what happens

and in your workplace you know i bet you have some pretty standard forms that you fall you just don't see them in that way but tom
most most human
my hand and i'm not a sociologist but but most human groups develop agreed upon forms for their interactions
they may or may not
me liberating but you can you can kind of look at what reforms that you live listen
are they an opportunity to watch how you
interact with them
today i'll go along with an and tomorrow is for you
and what's going on here that that's creating that and is that is that helpful or not
can you find a way to express yourself
within the forms of your actual situation what i just think he's sings if i go around and everybody is trying to set the same size and posture i agree with him i can see a great deal of what's happening with each person by looking at their saas and poster than and some of some people have perfect posture but it's
really stiff and i can see that someone is trying to look like a good monk you know they're not really settled and at ease in their posture there
trying to to
they have a picture they're trying to fit themselves to instead of finding out how this posture expresses their own on energy
and you can see some people coming in and doing the forms just perfectly and they're thinking as i mentioned the other day and my talk by i'm doing this right i hope everybody notices i'm doing this right you know
know those you've read that talk i added a little i had a little insight about term i was talking about the moments when that happens to me you know all my preventing sense in street and name by am pretty sharp know that the next thing i do as as i'm walking around the man i stubbed my toe on the mat and ticket
or do something awkward right away to catch i mean i did something the other day and i turned around and banged my head on a branch and i mean sometimes i get a little rough on myself to catch my attention
but in that talk he was talking about our teacher and student are working together to ah
express eager listeners and sometimes ego gets in there and i'm thinking those moments when i say boy wasn't that nice i can call those my
he's a more honest moments there are even less this moments and they're even more and a smaller
so that will help me to notice the more more freely yes i can find them
why i with my happened since then actually have to make out on i think i am at
for expensive what am i expressing myself a
the habit and
exactly my answer and encounter on some out
what what should i expect
yeah if you try to think about it the fact is that you're expressing it all the time
that's that's the thing but sometimes we we try to squeeze it into something we think we should be and and it it looks squeezed somehow it doesn't look natural it doesn't look like actually expressing yourself but i think the question you raises what is this that i'm
is a very fundamental question for all of us
this question of sitting with what is this
is i would recommend to everyone not even who is this who already you know assumes well as a person for sure and what else but just to be totally open what is this sitting on this question what is this speaking now
what is this saying hello to my friend know what is this
if we should see each being as buddha can we see this being in school
if we can see each being as the julian indra's net can we see this one as a joke and under snap
what does it look like
if it's just a jewel and indra's net
yes you can become possible
no i don't think we necessarily always know but we keep we keep we keep facing in the direction of expressing our true selves we keep facing in the direction of being curious about what is the true so
is this if if this is this it
and sometimes it feels like ah that's it
and sometimes it feels like
this doesn't feel right but we'd notice we we pay attention to that and we and we move toward those ones and feel of this feels right
and we move away from those at home that doesn't feel like me that feels like me trying to be some idea i have
so exactly
noticing those moment when it feels like on this is me
is how we how we begin to move in that direction
and we do it together with friends and it an if then if we find a teacher with a teacher who will reflect you back to yourself quite quite readily
and that's helpful
and the people around you it if you're practicing with others this is by wide sanga is referred to as one of the three jewels
they will reflect you back to yourself and you'll see how amazon comfortable that's really neat
oh yeah and i do that donner who maybe i don't wanna do that maybe i want to watch that
now we have all kinds of habits that we've collected over over the years of our life all kinds of ideas of who we think we are
we don't know for sure who who we are and that's actually what we're trying to find a way to express his
the real the real me what is the real me
when i dropped my ideas and just be myself
and of course it's a lot easier said than done
nobody said it was easy
mrs simple but it's not easy
this practice
i think my time is sir
thank you very much
hey ah